Veterans are an understudied group that kinds an necessary a part of the material of American society and that constitutes a major section of the inhabitants. Within the first publish of this two-part sequence, we’ll examine how the outcomes of veteran males–in instructional attainment, well being, and housing–differ from these of comparable males who didn’t serve within the navy. Wanting solely at males, for causes described under, we discover that relative to nonveteran males with a highschool diploma and an analogous distribution of demographic and geographic traits, veterans are 7 share factors much less prone to have a university diploma and are over 50 p.c extra prone to expertise a incapacity. Veterans are additionally considerably likelier to lease a house than to personal and, as renters, pay a decrease common lease, suggesting they expertise decrease high quality housing or stay in worse neighborhoods.

Service within the navy could carry each financial benefits and financial disadvantages. It represents a dedication of time away from classroom training or civilian employment through the very years when many individuals start their careers. It additionally carries with it the specter of harm or extreme psychological stress. Nonetheless, navy service can also carry benefits, comparable to alternatives to study new technical and interpersonal expertise, entry to medical insurance by way of the Veterans’ Administration, or subsidies to larger training by way of the G.I. Invoice.

The Knowledge Set

We use the 2019 five-year American Group Survey (ACS), the final one earlier than the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, to compute common outcomes for male veterans and nonveterans aged between 25 and 69. This reduce of the information has us trying on the inhabitants of veterans who served when enlistment within the armed forces was voluntary, after the tip of the draft in 1971. It’s a problem to assemble a comparability group since veterans differ from nonveterans amongst many dimensions. For instance, veterans are overwhelmingly prone to be male highschool graduates because the navy usually requires a highschool diploma for service. Veterans are older, with enlistment charges drifting down over time. They’re additionally extra prone to be native-born and white, and extra prone to have been born within the South and the Midwest than within the Northeast and the West.

Subsequently, for a extra comparable group for veterans, we take the inhabitants of nonveteran male highschool graduates and weight them to match the age, racial, ethnic, immigrant and geographic distributions of veterans. Following a earlier paper, we use as weights the fractions of the male highschool graduate inhabitants in every age, race, origin, and geography class who’re veterans. We are going to seek advice from this management group as “comparable nonveterans” for the remainder of the sequence. Whereas our methodology doesn’t take away all sources of variations between veterans and “reweighted” nonveterans (for instance, the veterans could differ from nonveterans in different elements of their background, or in unobservables comparable to persona or pursuits, for which there isn’t any information within the ACS), it avoids the obvious sources of noncomparability between them and permits us to deal with the implications of being a veteran.

Differing Outcomes in Training, Well being, and Housing

Regardless of getting access to the advantages of the G.I. Invoice, veterans are much less probably than comparable nonveterans to pursue additional training after highschool. We see within the chart under that whereas 34 p.c of male highschool graduates who are usually not veterans receive a bachelor’s diploma or larger, solely 27 p.c of veterans accomplish that. Veterans are additionally much less prone to finish their training with a bachelor’s diploma (17 p.c vs. 22 p.c) and to go on to acquire a sophisticated diploma (10 p.c vs. 12 p.c) than nonveterans. These variations could also be as a result of direct results of navy service (together with spending quite a lot of vital years for training within the navy), in addition to to unobserved variations between veterans and nonveterans that aren’t captured by their age, ethnic, and geographic background.

Veterans Are Much less More likely to Maintain a Bachelor’s or Superior Diploma

Sources: American Group Survey; authors’ calculations.

On the well being entrance, we see within the panel chart under that whereas the share of veterans that’s uninsured is considerably decrease than nonveterans, veterans are over 50 p.c extra prone to have a incapacity, with the percentages rising even larger for some particular disabilities. Because of being eligible for added types of medical insurance, solely 6 p.c of veterans are uninsured, in contrast with 11 p.c of comparable nonveterans (left panel). Nonetheless, regardless of this protection, the well being of veterans, at the very least as measured by the presence of disabilities, is poorer (proper panel). Veterans are additionally half once more as prone to be disabled, with 19 p.c of veterans having a incapacity versus 12 p.c of comparable nonveterans. Veterans are greater than twice as prone to have a listening to incapacity (7 p.c vs. 3 p.c) and practically twice as prone to have a sensory incapacity (9 p.c vs. 5 p.c). Given that individuals serving within the armed forces often should cross a medical overview, disparities between veterans and nonveterans of their incapacity price probably emerge both instantly from navy service or from variations in what veterans and comparable nonveterans do after the veterans go away the navy.

Veterans Are Extra More likely to Have Well being Insurance coverage, But Are Extra More likely to Be Disabled

Sources: American Group Survey; authors’ calculations.

This evaluation additionally sheds gentle on the housing scenario of veterans and nonveterans who both personal or lease. (We don’t think about homelessness; whereas veteran homelessness is a vital coverage concern, there are potential information gaps because the ACS methodology of discovering respondents probably undersamples the homeless). Within the panel chart under, we see that the renting standing of veterans and nonveterans differs little (left panel), standing in distinction to the academic and well being variations recognized above. Veterans are considerably extra prone to lease than nonveterans are, however the homeownership price amongst veterans is 70 p.c, only one share level lower than that of comparable nonveterans. Nonetheless, veterans could also be consuming housing of decrease high quality. Veterans who’re renters pay about 6 p.c much less in lease than comparable nonveteran renters, suggesting that they lease housing with fewer facilities or in worse neighborhoods (proper panel); the identical statement about housing high quality could apply to veteran householders.

Veterans Are Barely Extra More likely to Lease, and Lease Much less Costly Housing

Sources: American Group Survey; authors’ calculations.

To conclude, we see that, when making the comparability with nonveterans who’re demographically just like veterans, veterans have decrease training attainment and a larger prevalence of disabilities than nonveterans. The info additionally recommend veterans are in considerably worse housing conditions. Within the second publish of this sequence, we’ll examine variations in earnings and labor market outcomes of veterans and nonveterans, and the way these variations could also be defined by their disparities when it comes to training and well being. Extra broadly, we’ll proceed to trace information related to financial outcomes by race/ethnicity, gender, revenue, age, veteran standing, and geography in a brand new month-to-month information product, Equitable Progress Indicators (EGI). Go to our net characteristic for charts and temporary takeaways on disparities in folks’s expertise of inflation, earnings, employment, and shopper spending.

Portrait of Rajashri Chakrabarti

Rajashri Chakrabarti is the pinnacle of Equitable Progress Research within the Federal Reserve Financial institution of New York’s Analysis and Statistics Group.  

Dan Garcia is a analysis analyst within the Federal Reserve Financial institution of New York’s Analysis and Statistics Group.

Photo: portrait of Maxim Pinkovskiy

Maxim Pinkovskiy is an financial analysis advisor in Equitable Progress Research within the Federal Reserve Financial institution of New York’s Analysis and Statistics Group.

Find out how to cite this publish:
Rajashri Chakrabarti, Dan Garcia, and Maxim Pinkovskiy, “Do Veterans Face Disparities in Greater Training, Well being, and Housing?,” Federal Reserve Financial institution of New York Liberty Avenue Economics, Might 25, 2023,

The views expressed on this publish are these of the creator(s) and don’t essentially replicate the place of the Federal Reserve Financial institution of New York or the Federal Reserve System. Any errors or omissions are the duty of the creator(s).

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